My Bearded Pigeon / Chunky Chooky

Stitched poem pillow
Also available blank or with unstitched lettering
As I was scrolling through discussions among Etsy teams, looking for something with an interesting enough title to read, “$20,000+ in Sales in 5 Months” definitely qualified as a ringer for peaking my interest.  You can either read the post over here at handmadeology or over here in the original post.

Let’s plunge even deeper into the mind behind MyBeardedPigeon.  There is more to her and her fantastic shops than meets the bird’s eye.   When you purchase from MyBeardedPigeon, you’re not just getting something – you are also giving something.  On top of having a wonderful product and wonderful code of social responsibility, the fabric used is exclusive to My Bearded Pigeon and not available anywhere else in the world!  Read on to find out your purchase helps to change lives.

This is as close as I'll ever get to the Bahamas.

It's hard for me to say that the economy is bad over here in America when people are still getting manicures and boob jobs, but the news would have us believe that the economy is bad. How are things over in Australia? Are manicures and boob jobs popular over there, too?

Apparently the retail sector is struggling.  Every shop seems to be having a sale at the moment and people are buying a lot online, especially because the $AUD is so strong at the moment.  I can buy a book on Amazon and have it posted to my house, rather than buy it from the shop down the road. Having said all that, I am not an economist but people are still getting boob jobs and buying flashy cars etc so.... who knows???

Is there actually a such thing as a bearded pigeon? Then there's the much more obvious question: why MyBeardedPigeon for a shop name? Feel free to blend the two questions into one answer.

Are there pigeons in Pittsburg?And those colors are astounding!

Yes, there is such a thing as a bearded pigeon.  It is closely related to the handlebar moustache pigeon but that seemed a bit wordy. Or, no, there is not, I just like beards, and I always feel bad for pigeons, they get such bad press, everyone dislikes them. You can decide which is the true answer. I wanted my shop name to be something intriguing... rather than organic cotton designs or some such thing. Lots of people comment on the name, in a good way.

You have a most awesome list of keys to your Etsy success over in the Etsy Success team (fitting I must say). Did you just stick to this list or did you do something above and beyond to get your sales to skyrocket? Or did your pillows just happen to hit the popular vein?

I reckon, apart from all the tips and stuff, I really just lucked out and hit a popular vein. Right place, right time. It is also a great gift for everyone, men, women, children, and kids, great gift for weddings, anniversaries, and momentos of places you have lived.... Also lots of big blogs have picked up the cushions and some magazines etc., apparently lots of people like maps. Yay!!

I do have a busy blog and am an active blogger , I post lots and visit other blogs too.  I get involved in swaps and donate things to raffles for say raising money for cancer etc. I have a much neglected facebook page, but I do not love facebook at all... I don't really get how to use it. I have a flickr account and recently joined twitter. That seems like a lot. It is. Spend small amounts of time on each one probably every day. Which brings me to a good point. I often see in the forums people saying things like "I have a life. I don't want to be on my computer all day." Well you don't have to be but you do have to check your email at least twice a day I think. However, if you don't want to spend time on the computer then you probably shouldn't be running an online business. It’s pretty simple.... and while I am on it, there seems to be so much whining and complaining on the forums - chill out people.

Give us a run down on why you donate $1 to microlending at kiva.org.

This pillow is not referring to the visitors on your couch.

I donate $1 to Kiva from every sale, because it is the socially responsible thing to do. I am lucky to be living in a safe country with a steady income, (I work 3 days a week and my husband works full time), and I can afford a $1 from every sale. During the aftermath of the New Zealand earthquake, where we have close family, I stopped donating to Kiva and donated to the Red Cross. I did the same for the Japan earthquake. I am thinking of switching from Kiva to Doctors without Borders soon, just for something different. I can keep reloaning with Kiva as people repay the loans, so it can keep going.

Now go return those pillows you just got from Wal-Mart, and buy some of Cath’s pillows instead!  At the very least, go follow along on her fantastic blog at http://chunkychooky.blogspot.com.

 If pillows aren't your thing, then surely you know somebody who has a baby who would love something from her second Etsy shop:  www.ChunkyChooky.etsy.com.  She even has an iphone app.  What will she think of next?  Whatever it is, I plan on doing a follow up piece to see how Cath handles tax time in Australia.  Stay tuned for the answer everyone wants to know -- how much of that money is she going to get to actually keep?


BTW, her shop is now over the $30,000 mark, only 6 weeks after writing her Etsy Success team post.  Whatever she's doing, she's doing it right!  Keep up all of your marvelousness!

Just Breathe treasury featuring MyBeardedPigeon.

Timothy Adam Designs

This should have been the first interview I did, but my life has a whole bunch of  “shoulda”s.  Tim Adam, founder of Handmadeology.com, owner of TimothyAdamDesigns, self-taught conqueror of SEO and most things internet, is now getting his turn to be featured here on Inside Etsy.

Without a doubt, Tim would surely be voted “Most Helpful” if ever there were an Etsy annual.  His giving nature does not begin or end in the handmade community.  It is simply an extension of the giving that he does on a daily basis in his home, his church, and his community—on or offline. There’s no luck involved when you work as hard as Tim does.  His success is well-deserved!

Do you consider yourself successful at this point? Granted, like mine, I’m sure your bar of success is raised everyday, but how do you feel about your business today?

I do!  Quitting my job in 2007 helped me realize that doing what I love and making a living can happen!  Sure, my business if ever-changing and evolving.  Flexibility comes with the territory of owning your own business. To this date, I am happy with where my business has taken me and the direction it is headed.

Unlike in my posts, where I constantly make references to my family, I don't see mentions of your family in your postings, other than the standard issue that you have one. (But I’m a tell-all kind of girl. I always say, "God knows the truth. What does it matter if everybody else does?")  Is your wife a stay-at-home mom or does she fly the "Corporate Woman" flag?  What does she think about all of these wonderful things you are accomplishing?  And if you just don't want to talk about your family, then we'll skip it, but I am curious.   It kills more than cats, I find.

My wife, Christina, is self-employed like myself.  She is an amazing photographer. Here is her site: Gracedesignsphotography.com.  I would not be where I am today with out the love and support of my wife. We have a 10 month old boy, Camden, and a Jack Russel named Sadie.  We live in a 1923 dutch colonial, where we mix our modern style with old architecture.

Why did you decide to make a hard-copy of your book "How to Make Money Using Etsy" instead of selling it as an e-book?

I really never was looking to write a book.  In 2010 the publisher came to me and asked me to write the book.  So making a hard copy with a larger publisher behind me was a simple decision to make!

Are you going to branch into offering affiliate programs for your book (and other awesome materials)?

We are currently working on an affiliate program for all the products that Handmadeology offers. We will be teaching bloggers how to make extra money each month from simply selling our top notch proven products.

What is the hardest part of being "Tim Adam—Handmade Etceteraordinaire"? (That’s my own personal name for you.)

I think the hardest part is separating work from family.  With work being one click away, it is difficult to get away.  I love what I do and I love my family, so defining that line between work and family time is something that I work on everyday.

Thanks, Tim, for all that you do for me and everyone else looking for a piece of that handmade pie.  You are truly an embodiment of what the Etsy community is all about.

Visit the Handmadeology shop on Etsy and peruse all of the helpful tools that have been packaged together to help you achieve success in your very own Etsy shop.

Tim can be found everywhere on the internet:

Twitter @timothyadam


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